North Carolina based NHRA Pro Stock driver Jason Line has consistently qualified in the top half of the field for each NHRA National event since the new 2011 season of the K&N Horsepower Challenge began at Norwalk, Ohio this past June.
NHRA Pro Stock driver Jason Line
NHRA Pro Stock driver Jason Line's Summit Racing Pontiac GXP
While so many may have had eyes on Mike Edwards, Jeg Coughlin or Allen Johnson, Line used his home track advantage to his full benefit during this past weekend's O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, held at the beautiful zMax Dragway in Concord, North Carolina, when he scored his first number one qualifier in quite some time.
Line plowed his way right to the top of the heap during the first qualifying session on Friday in his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP, when he posted a 6.633 at 209.14, but his teammate, 2010 K&N Horsepower Challenge Champion Greg Anderson, took the spot away from him during session number two.
"Really I think it was more of a lane thing than anything," explained Line. "We struggled a little but in the right lane during qualifying, I mean we just felt like we were a hundredth slower over there. Not a big deal, just not quite as good over there."
Line and his teammate Anderson swapped qualifying positions again come third session on Saturday when Line almost broke into the fifty's with his 6.604 and what that pass, he would remain number one for Sunday's eliminations, even though Anderson did all he could to steal the pole back during the final session.
"It was kind of fun actually to go back and forth," noted Line. "It was cool. We felt like we had probably the best two cars there and it's been a while since we could say that. It was a good weekend all-in-all."
With Line's number one qualifier in Pro Stock during the latest NHRA event, he gained both the max 175 points available for the K&N Horsepower Challenge and his team pocketed the cool $3,000 awarded to the top Pro Stock team from K&N Engineering.
Line has now moved himself into the number two spot in the 2011 K&N Horsepower Challenge and just sixty points behind leader Mike Edwards.
"It's the coolest bonus race that there is," Line said of the K&N Challenge. "It's a huge deal and the only thing I don't like about the race, is the fact that I haven't won it yet. And Greg (Anderson) got the coolest trophy ever this year when he won and I'm just a little bit jealous and one of these years, I'm going to win that thing."
"It's a really big deal to qualify towards the top," he said of his outcome at Concord. "Obviously if we have any luck we want to collect it and we want to be number one, we don't want to be number two."
The professional teams are headed straight to their next event on the NHRA Full Throttle tour and will find themselves just outside Dallas, Texas.
Line hopes to build on his team's regained ground as the event unfolds.
"I like going to Dallas, it's a good place to race," said Line. "I feel really good about it, as far as our program goes. I'm excited to go because we are going to have three Summit cars there that have a chance to win the race."
"We want to steal all those points and make sure we get them spread around between our three cars," he continued. "Nothing is over yet by any means and every round is really important."
With many races still ahead, the battle forges on in the 2011 K&N Horsepower Challenge during the O'Reilly Auto Parts Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, September 23-26.
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